Fifth Wall Backs Foxtrot to Capitalize on Omnichannel as the Future of Retail
The Next Generation Corner Store Gains Access to Strategic Landlords
Seismic shifts in the retail industry have necessitated a new era of retail anchored in seamless experiences following consumers from real-world brick-and-mortar shopping to e-commerce purchases. Among retail categories, the convenience store market is uniquely primed for disruption. The largest company in the $300 billion market owns less than 5% of share, and innovation has been nonexistent until now. Foxtrot is challenging the status quo by building the next generation corner store — blending the best of new retail and e-commerce. The result is an elevated brand customers love, with an operating model developed to scale nationally. Multichannel integration for consumers, termed omnichannel, is the future of retail, and Fifth Wall is thrilled to lead Foxtrot’s $6 million series A and bring this incredible opportunity to our strategic network of landlords.
Other participants in the round alongside Fifth Wall include: Lerer Hippeau, Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, Collaborative VC, BoxGroup, Maveron, M3 Ventures, and The University of Chicago.
What a Next Generation Corner Store Looks Like
The future of retail is on-demand, curated products and experiences, and Foxtrot has built a loyal customer base eager for service and personalization from both mobile interfaces and physical locations across Chicago. The company, led by co-founders Michael LaVitola (CEO) and Taylor Bloom (CTO), has served over 10,000 online customers. With Foxtrot, e-commerce synergizes perfectly with an in-store experience curated with highly selective products.
A pillar of Foxtrot’s success is the underlying convenience built into every aspect of the business. With the proliferation of emerging brands, decreasing noise is key; 30% of Foxtrot’s inventory is heavily curated from, and tailored to, the local market. In Chicago, these include local favorites like Monteverde pasta, a James Beard award winning pasta, Bang Bang Pie and Do-Rite doughnuts. Shop online, through the app, or in the store for craft beer, wine, spirits, fresh food, gifts, and everyday essentials. The online and offline component adds a deeper layer of convenience — anyone within four miles of a store qualifies for front-door delivery in under an hour.
Additionally, this compelling multichannel approach uses brick-and-mortar locations as the marketing vehicle to deliver unparallelled customer lifetime value as a percentage of marketing spend. Foxtrot is seeing an equal sales lift in both online and offline revenue for each store opening; repeat purchase behaviors from a mobile device drives the lifetime value of the consumer.
Foxtrot and Real Estate Landlords
Foxtrot’s innovative next generation corner store solution is a clear win for Fifth Wall anchor LPs across a variety of verticals including retail, residential, hotels/hospitality and commercial. The concept works as a floor-level retail amenity, offering an elevated coffee shop and corner store for retail, office, and mixed-use developments. Commercial offices will be able to offer a coffee bar in grab-and-go format for employees (even literally delivering to their desk), lessening disruptions in their daily workflow. Furthermore, Foxtrot serves as a business to business amenity for a landlords’ tenants. As one example, an on-site corner store allows tenants to quickly restock in-office bars and kitchens in minutes, negating the need to carry any inventory themselves. Foxtrot could also allow hotels to provide custom/white label minibar goods for all rooms, as well as VIP amenity programs.
As key partnerships develop between Foxtrot and hard asset owners, we’re hopeful Foxtrot’s stores will become anchor retail locations loved by the local community (as they have in Chicago). The Foxtrot team prioritizes products and integrations tailored to customers of each specific location. A few key local brand partnerships have already included:
- Residential redevelopment partnership: Foxtrot is the retail anchor, coffee shop, and main building amenity at a residential redevelopment project in Chicago executed alongside Cedar Street Companies.
- Ice-cream shop hybrid corner store: By partnering with beloved artisanal brand Jeni’s Ice Cream, Foxtrot created a truly unique pop up promotion within an existing space.
- Highly localized gifts: Foxtrot and FEW Spirits & CH Distillery (a local Chicago distillery) created a localized, unique gift delivered on-demand to Chicago-based Foxtrot retailers, while a similar partnership with Soho House Chicago created exclusive custom cocktail kits crafted by in-house bartenders, available for in-store purchase or delivery.
To scale across the U.S., Foxtrot needs both capital as well as access to real estate partnerships. With a strategic network of the nation’s largest landlords as LPs across hotels, office, and commercial, there is no better partner than Fifth Wall. With the company’s highest density delivery zones located directly next to retail locations, each additional store drives e-commerce revenue while simultaneously enhancing livability. Improved neighborhood livability decreases tenant churn for landlords and increases both value and demand for their buildings. Fifth Wall connects the world’s largest real estate owners and operators with innovative solutions redefining Built World technology. With additional capital, Foxtrot will aggressively expand its physical footprint. With omnichannel undoubtedly being the future of retail, Fifth Wall is excited to support Foxtrot’s execution of this homerun opportunity with access to our real estate operators and operational expertise.